No. 28 Squadron RAF
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|No. 28 Squadron RAF|
|Active||7 November 1915 – present|
|Role||Battlefield Support Helicopter|
|Garrison/HQ||RAF Benson, Oxfordshire|
Quicquid agas ageLatin: "Whatsoever you may do, do"
|Equipment||Boeing Chinook HC.4
Westland Puma HC.2
|Battle honours||Italian Front and Adriatic 1917–1918, Piave, Vittoria Venito, Waziristan 1921–1925, North-West Frontier 1939, Burma 1942, Arakan 1943–1944, Manipur 1944, Burma 1944–1945.|
|Badge||In front of a demi-Pegasus, a fasces|
First World War
No. 28 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps was formed on 7 November 1915 at RAF Gosport. Initially a training squadron it became a fighter squadron equipped with the Sopwith Camel. After the end of the First World War it had claimed 136 victories. It numbered eleven flying aces among its ranks, including: future Air Vice-Marshal Clifford MacKay McEwen, William George Barker, Harold B. Hudson, James Hart Mitchell, Stanley Stanger, Arthur Cooper, Percy Wilson, Thomas Frederic Williams, and Joseph E. Hallonquist.
Inter war years
The squadron was disbanded on 20 January 1920 at RAF Eastleigh however on 1 April 1920 it was reformed at RAF Ambala with the Bristol F2b Fighter. During the 1920s and 30's it was moved to various bases within India and operated different aircraft including changing to the Westland Wapiti during September 1931 and the Hawker Audax during June 1936.
Second World War
Remaining in Asia, during the Second World War it flew the Westland Lysander from September 1941 and from December 1942 the Hawker Hurricane fighter-bomber. By 1943 the squadron was operating in Burma until July 1945 when it started to re-equip with the Supermarine Spitfire.
After the Second World War the squadron operated as a fighter-reconnaissance unit as part of the Far East Air Force, moving to RAF Kai Tak, Hong Kong in 1949 still with Spitfires. From then on the squadron was regularly moved between Kai Tak and Sek Kong, and from January 1951 was re-equipped with the de Havilland Vampire, then the de Havilland Venom from February 1956. While at Kai Tak from May 1962 the squadron changed to flying Hawker Hunter FGA.9's, until 2 January 1967 when it was disbanded.
The squadron was reformed on 1 March 1968 at Kai Tak from a detachment of No. 103 Squadron RAF operating Westland Whirlwind HC 10's. The Westland Wessex HC.2 was introduced to the squadron from January 1972 and the Whirlwind's operated until August 1972. On 17 May 1978 the squadron moved to RAF Sek Kong and stayed until 1996. The squadron returned to Kai Tak from then until the British withdrawal in June 1997 and was the last RAF squadron to leave the territory.
The RAF ordered 22 Westland Merlin HC3 helicopters in March 1995, the first of which was received from GKNWestland, now AgustaWestland, on 7 March 2001. The squadron officially reformed on 17 July 2001 at RAF Benson, the first time in its recent history that the squadron had been stationed in the UK.
The squadron's first operational role with the Merlin was in support of SFOR at Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The aircraft and personnel deployed on 1 April 2003, the same day that an initial operational capability was declared for the Merlin. The detachment ceased on 31 March 2004 and the squadron then began to prepare for operations in Iraq.
The squadron's commitment to Operation TELIC began on 1 March 2005. Several aircraft and a mix of aircrew, engineers and support personnel from 28 (AC) Squadron and RAF Benson, deployed using the historic No. 1419 Flight RAF to replace the Chinook's of No. 1310 Flight RAF at Basrah Air Station, Iraq. In 2009 the squadron returned from Operation Telic and later on in the year deployed on Operation Herrick keeping the designation of 1419 Flight. The squadron returned during May 2013.
On 3 December 2007 the squadron was broken up to form the RAF Merlin Force which comprises 28 (AC) Squadron, the newly reallocated 78 Squadron and the Merlin Force Engineering Squadron. This followed the additional purchase of six additional Merlin HC3As from Denmark via AgustaWestland. The commensurate increase in aircrew and engineering personnel would have made a single Merlin squadron too unwieldy.
In July 2015, the squadron handed over its Merlin Helicopters to the Royal Navy/Commando Helicopter Force and re-roled as 28 Squadron OCU whose role is to train Chinook Mk4 and Puma Mk2 helicopters crews. 28 Squadron OCU reached its Initial Operating Capability on 21 October 2015 upon the arrival of 4 Chinook Helicopters and associated crews and engineers to join the existing Puma training crews already based at Benson.
- No 28 (A/C) Squadron commanding officers
- Major A. C. E. Marsh (12 November 1915)
- Captain K. P. Atkinson (22 January 1916)
- Captain L. A. Tilney (15 February 1916)
- Major A. Shekleton (29 February 1916)
- Captain R. D. Oxland (7 June 1917)
- Captain P. C. Campbell (30 June 1917)
- Major H. F. Glanville (12 July 1917)
- Major C. A. Ridley MC DFC (19 March 1918)
- Captain N. S. Paynter (8 October 1918)
- Major W. J. Guilfoyle (1 November 1918)
- Captain J. I. Gilmour (24 February 1918)
- Wing Commander R. J. F. Barton OBE (1 February 1920)
- Squadron Leader J. T. Whittaker MC (7 March 1922)
- Squadron Leader A. W. F. Glenny MC DFC (1 August 1922)
- Squadron Leader H. S. Powell MC (14 September 1923)
- Wing Commander A. A. Walser MC DFC (23 September 1924)
- Squadron Leader C. S. Wynne-Eyton DSO (23 September 1924)
- Squadron Leader A. W. Mylne (15 February 1926)
- Squadron Leader J. T. Whittaker MC (16 September 1927)
- Squadron Leader A. F. Brooke (23 February 1928)
- Squadron Leader F. W. Trott OBE MC (22 November 1931)
- Squadron Leader F. Fernihough MC (20 March 1932)
- Squadron Leader C. J. S. Dearlove (22 September 1934)
- Flight Lieutenant A. F. Hutton DFC (26 June 1936) (squadron leader from 1 October 1936)
- Squadron Leader E. L. S. Ward DFC (22 February 1938)
- Squadron Leader G. E. Jackson DFC (7 December 1939)
- Squadron Leader R. M. Coad AFC (14 January 1941)
- Squadron Leader P. M. Jennings (25 September 1941)
- Squadron Leader O. R. W. Hammerbeck (6 March 1942)
- Squadron Leader A. S. Mann (30 October 1942)
- Squadron Leader T. R. Pierce (5 March 1943)
- Squadron Leader H. G. F. Larsen DFC (8 August 1943)
- Squadron Leader E. G. Pannell (20 February 1945)
- Squadron Leader A. E. Guymer (1 May 1945)
- Squadron Leader J. Rhind (8 May 1945)
- Squadron Leader G. T. A. Douglas DFC (1 October 1945)
- Squadron Leader P. R. W. Wickham DSO DFC (25 May 1946)
- Squadron Leader I. G. Broom DSO DFC (12 December 1946)
- Squadron Leader R. D. Yule DSO DFC (15 March 1948)
- Squadron Leader P. L. Arnott DFC (4 September 1950)
- Squadron Leader J. Welch DFC (7 March 1953)
- Squadron Leader A. Phillips (11 August 1955)
- Squadron Leader D. W. Swart (22 November 1957)
- Squadron Leader M. C. N. Smart AFC (2 October 1959)
- Squadron Leader M. I. Stanway (2 November 1961)
- Squadron Leader R. A. Edwards (4 June 1964)
- Squadron Leader J. W. Canning (1 April 1968)
- Squadron Leader K. R. Cawdron (25 March 1970)
- Squadron Leader J. N. Puckering (7 April 1972)
- Squadron Leader P. D. Raeburn (26 April 1974)
- Squadron Leader R. Kingston (May 1976)
- Squadron Leader M. D. Pledger (August 1978)
- Squadron Leader R. J. Sharp (September 1980)
- Squadron Leader D. J. Baldwin (February 1983)
- Squadron Leader M. C. Hulyer MBIM (August 1985)
- Squadron Leader B. P. Simmonds BSc MInstP (April 1986)
- Squadron Leader G. R. Evans (November 1988)
- Squadron Leader S. D. Murkin (July 1991)
- Squadron Leader P. R. Barton (January 1994)
- No. 28 (AC) Squadron disbanded June 1997
- Reformed at RAF Benson as a Merlin Squadron July 2001
- Wing Commander D. J. Stubbs (July 2001)
- Wing Commander A. M. Turner OBE MSc BA MRAeS (January 2004)
- Wing Commander R. K. Luck MA MCGI MRAeS (March 2006)
- Wing Commander S. A. Paterson BSc MA (November 2008)
- Wing Commander J. L. Appleton MA (November 2010)
- Wing Commander I. J. Diggle BEng (May 2013)
- Stood down at RAF Benson as a Merlin Squadron on 9 July 2015 and immediately reformed as SH OCU
- Wing Commander M. D. Lock MA (9 July 2015)
- "XXVIII(AC) Squadron". Royal Air Force. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
- Jefford 1988, p. 34.
- "No. 28 Squadron". The Aerodrome. 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
- Dart, Fiona (9 July 2015). "Royal Air Force Merlin squadron handed over to the Royal Navy marking end of an era". Blackmore Vale Magazine. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
- Barrass, M. B. (2015). "Air Vice-Marshal A. F. Hutton". Air of Authority – A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
- Jefford MBE, Wg Cdr C G (1988). RAF Squadrons. A comprehensive record of the movement and equipment of all RAF squadrons and their antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury: Airlife. ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
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